Today is our silver wedding anniversary. My deepest appreciation to my trusty sidekick and dearest love for 25+ years of support, companionship, adventure and laughter.
We got married on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Maui.
Alone. As in, no relatives or friends – just us. Getting married was very emotionally charged for me, and I needed to do it alone with Hub.
My dream, of course, was a romantic beach setting: kicking off our shoes; waves lapping gently; sun slowly dipping below the horizon; and a warm glow radiating between us.
Beach weddings were highly regulated, commercialized and unromantic. We could buy the basic, premium or deluxe package for a set rate; a set number of flowers; and “our” 15 minutes on the beach before the next couple stepped in for their unromantic 15 minutes.
No Way and No Problem.
We discovered Iao Valley State Park, a pristine barely-used gem in the middle of the island. While hiking a trail, we located a perfect spot – under the towering Iao Needle – from which the rising sun would bless our ceremony if we got married at dawn.
We obtained our marriage license and a recommendation to call “Marrying Bob”, a kindly ordained minister. He met with us and agreed to perform the ceremony at 6:30am, shortly after the park gates opened. Marrying Bob recommended we hire Dave, a carefree freelance photographer, who could serve as one of two required witnesses. A quick call to Dave confirmed he’d meet us at dawn at the park. If no one else was at the park to witness our ceremony, we could repeat our vows later in front of Marrying Bob’s secretary. It was all low key, low stress and private – just the way I wanted it.
I brought my self-designed dress from Colorado. The evening before the wedding, we selected our leis; bought Hub a Hawaiian shirt; and hugged and cried while writing our vows.
When we arrived at the park gate at wedding day dawn, there was a single car in the parking lot – a convertible with the top down, and a dark-haired man sitting in the driver’s seat. It wasn’t Marrying Bob. We assumed it was Dave, the photographer.
Hub approached the convertible: “Hi, are you Dave?”
Dark-haired guy, doing a double take and frowning at Hub: “Yeah. Why?”
Hub, holdng out his hand in greeting: “I’m Bob. You’re here to photograph our wedding, right?”
Dark-haired guy, still frowning and pulling back from Hub’s proffered hand: “NO!”
It turns out THIS Dave was from California on his honeymoon and came to the park to watch the sunrise while his new wife slept in. After figuring out the confusion and sharing a “what’re the odds” laugh, Honeymoon Dave agreed to be our second witness.
So, our wedding party consisted of:
Bob, the groom
Bob, the minister
Dave, the photographer
Dave, the honeymooner
Me, the blushing bride
The sun rose; we spoke our vows;
we sealed our marriage with a kiss; and we are living happily everafter.